The marginalization of women is largely routed from our culture and has consequently fueled the drop-out rate of girl students in schools country wide. SPISES is a THREE years project whose core quest is to arrest the rising drop-out rate of girl-students in secondary schools by keeping girls in school and also by bringing the dropouts back to school. The project has targeted twelve Community Day Secondary schools in the Seven districts of Mzimba, Dowa, Ntchisi, Ntcheu, Mchinji, Lilongwe and Neno.

The project seeks to keep girls in school by providing bursaries to those whose parents can’t afford to support their education. In the first year we have embarked on direct bursaries whilst in the second and third year we will give the target schools Solar Irrigation Kits for use in their gardens to raise funds and borne the educational expenses of the girls.

We have so far worked with the existing community structure. These people are conversant with the people in their communities and know well who drop out and the reasons for quitting. Upon successful training of the relevant stakeholders in mother group establishment, sanitary pad making and menstrual hygiene, bursary management and sexual reproductive health, we work with the mother groups and girl alliances to bring back those that drop out due to early marriages and premarital pregnancies.

The baseline survey reported financial constraint as one major factor limiting girls and other vulnerable students from accessing education. In addressing this, the project supported a total of 324 students through direct bursary in the year 2018. 63% of these students are female. In 2018 the project also managed to install 8 solar powered irrigation systems at Ngowe, Chimteka, Chinziri, M’dika, Nyangoza, Kanjiwa, Chikonde and Tsangano CDSSs. The Progress of full irrigation system installation is estimated at 66.7%. Land preparation, Nursery preparation, and crop production are in progress. The area under irrigation at Ngowe Garden is 70m X 35m it has 156 beds of Onion with an average of 129 onion per bed. In total, the project will have 20,124 onions and if each could be sold at K50.00, a total of K 1,006,200.00 will be raised against a total of K673, 000 which was spent on Inputs (seed, manure, fertilizer, security, management, land preparation, sprayer etc). With this, a profit of K333, 200.00 will be made, and it can cover 3 terms fees for 11 students, or 1 term fees for 33 students

With the aim of challenging the prevalent low self-esteem in the female students, inspirational and motivational talks by female speakers of various professions was conducted in 8 schools Manyamula, Kanjiwa, Mnjiri, Emthuzini, Kanjiwa, Nyangoza, M’dika and Chinziri.

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